HR update on emergency leave programs

UW–Madison employees who are affected by COVID-19 may qualify for paid leave under the new federal program called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and/or under the UW–Madison COVID-19 Pandemic Employee Work Location and Leave Policy. UW COVID-19 leave is currently available to employees who qualify through May 1, 2020. The federal programs continue until December 31, 2020. If you qualify for leave, your reason(s) for leave may be covered under both federal and UW programs, or only under one program or the other. If your leave is covered under both programs, leave use will be counted concurrently.

UW-Madison is requiring employees who are using UW COVID-19 Leave to complete the “Request for Leave under Federal Emergency and/or UW COVID-19 Leave Programs” form for all COVID-19 related leave taken on or after April 1, 2020.   The form will be used to determine if employees qualify for the new federal emergency leave program and ensure we are in compliance with new program requirements. The two components of the federal emergency leave program are as follows:

  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSLA) – EPSLA provides up to 80 hours of paid sick leave for qualifying employees
  • Emergency FMLA (EFMLEA) – EFMLEA provides qualifying employees up to 12 weeks of leave. EFMLEA provides ONE additional qualifying reason for an employee to take leave under the federal FMLA: to care for the employee’s son or daughter, who is under 18, if the school the child attends is closed or if daycare is unavailable due to COVID-19.

Employees who have taken COVID-19 related leave on or after April 1, 2020 should send their completed form to their assigned HR manager, who also serves as their Divisional Disability Representative (DDR), to process their request. The DDR will use the information to determine  the employee’s eligibility for leave programs.

Please note, this form does not replace payroll procedures. If you are using UW COVID-19 Leave, continue to enter time used on your timesheet so that you’re properly paid.  Instructions for timesheet entry can be found at

Where to find assistance